Please save us from “industry insiders” and critics making their suggestions on who should star in the new Star Wars movies. Read the link above if you want to choke on your lunch at some of those ridiculous suggestions.
For all that I know die-hard fans are cringing at the thought of iconic roles being recast – like it or not it’s going to happen, so the time is NOW to get some names out there that people aren’t really thinking of who would do the parts justice.
Here are suggestions from an actual FAN of the franchise and who understands the characters – this round will focus on casting for characters between episodes III-IV:
III-IV – The lost years films:
Any films that are set between “Revenge of the Sith” and “A New Hope” should simply use the pre-existing prequel actors in their older parts. The good news is it now being eight years since “Sith” the actors will have actually aged some and will do well in the parts. Example – Jimmy Smitts will be a nicely weathered Bail Organa for a Birth of the Rebellion type of movie with Genevieve O’Reilly finally getting some meat for playing Mon Mothma. An Obi-Wan on Tatooine movie should have Joel Edgerton reprise his role as Owen Lars and Bonnie Piesse as Beru (with of course Ewan McGregor reprising Obi-Wan.)
IV-VI – The Original Trilogy:
Here’s where the most debate is being stirred. Who to play the main leads? Age-wise, if they’re looking for films to be set during the original films – Luke and Leia should be in their mid-late twenties and Han Solo should be in his mid-late 30’s. This fact alone narrows down our choices and takes a bunch of ridiculous suggestions out of the mix.
Luke Skywalker: For Luke you need someone who can handle being the good guy but who also broods. To look the part, physically Luke was never about bulk or brute strength, he was a lean hero who was light on his feet. Looks-wise, the actor should not be over 6″, beefy, or classically handsome.
My Suggestion: Thomas Dekker
Even though I think Thomas would also be fantastic as Luke’s son, I don’t think that there are any other actors out there who can handle Luke’s complexity as well as Dekker can. Thomas has been one of those fringe actors who’s literally been working in Hollywood forever and is due getting bumped into that next level of recognition. Thomas was child actor in “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” TV series, “Village of the Damned” (he was one of the creepy kids,) to his latest film and TV projects, “Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles” “The Secret Circle” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street”.
No actor today broods as well as Thomas, he also has the distinction that both males and females like him as an actor. For all that he’s been in Hollywood forever, he’d also be a fresh face, one who hasn’t been in every other “wanna-be” blockbusters and who’s incredibly seasoned. Dekker also actually LOOKS like he could be the child from the union of Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman.
Princess Leia: We need someone who’s fiesty and strong willed. We need someone who’s commanding and yet can be vulnerable. Leia has her mother’s hard will and is able to shut down her emotional receptors when the situation warrants her full focus. Yet for all that she’s got grace under fire, if Luke got his mother’s ability to see good in even the worst of people, Leia inherited her father’s hot-headedness.
My Suggestion: Jessica Marais
Getting Jessica would be an international coup for the films, she’s a TV mega-star in Australia who has been working on making waves here in the US. Having wracked up awards for her role on Australia’s popular “Packed to the Rafters,” Marais has most recently been starring in Starz’ “Magic City” but first became known to sci-fi fans from her scene stealing part as Denna on “Legend of the Seeker.” Guys would like that Jessica oozes sex appeal and yes, she’s smoking hot in leather and bikinis. She’s also able to emote a very wide range of emotions which not all actresses out there are capable of doing. She can be cold, cruel, and very vulnerable. She’s also got that ability to snap out quick dialogue.
Han Solo: To be Han Solo an actor has to ooze charisma. He has to be able to successfully handle being snarky, aloof, and indifferent. He also has to have good reflexes and be able to pull off morally shady. Looks wise he should have darker hair and be a bit grizzled.
My Suggestion: Jensen Ackles
I admit, Jensen is a personal favorite actor of mine who I’ve watched grown up on TV since his first break-out role as Eric Brady on “Days of our Lives.” Jensen started out as the pretty boy who landed roles on “Dawson’s Creek” and “Smallville” as Lana’s arm candy. In between that though he got to play opposite Jessica Alba on James Cameron’s sadly short-lived “Dark Angel” as Alec. Alec himself in a lot of ways was very Han Solo in that he was a bit of a player and was extremely snarky. He appears in Season 2 of the series and helped to add some needed humor into the sometimes overly emo series. It wasn’t until he was offered the part of Dean Winchester in “Supernatural” that Jensen finally found the role of a lifetime. The part was pitched to him as being the Han Solo to Jared Padalecki’s Luke Skywalker. Although Dean shares a lot of Han Solo’s qualities, the 2 are not similar in their moral views of life. Han Solo is a bit reluctantly heroic, who’s a cowboy at heart and out for himself, Dean Winchester is the human incarnation of righteousness. He’s so self righteous that even his brother Sam can’t live up to him. Giving Jensen the opportunity to play a character who’s a bit looser would be nice for him.
For those who haven’t watched “Supernatural” because it’s aired on the “girly” CW – you don’t know what you’re missing. This series is a gritty weekly horror film. If this show had been developed by Fox instead of WB, it would’ve ended up on FX and could air right alongside “Sons of Anarchy.” Jensen’s time has arrived.
Lando Calrissian : Lando the king of suaveness can charm a woman out of her pants as easily as he can con a mining station out of its owner.
My Suggestion: Donald Faison
This really isn’t hard, this poor guy has been campaigning for YEARS that he wants to play Lando Calrissian. Donald is extremely likeable, charming, and quick to smile which is a part of Lando’s MO. Donald also totally rocks Lando’s signature mustache. He seemed to have finally somewhat gotten his break when he got to voice Lando in the “Star Wars Detours” cartoon series which as of yet, hasn’t seen the light of day on Disney’s TV network radar. Donald loves Lando and every chance he can get he tells the world that he’d love to play Lando on a TV series, or a film, or whatever – please make the poor guy stop begging and just give him the role already!
Boba Fett: Mysterious, commanding, aloof.
My suggestion: Daniel Logan
We never see Boba without his helmet in the original trilogy so we don’t know exactly how old he is. He’d probably be somewhere in the 28-30 year range so Daniel would be fine even though he’s slightly younger than that. Again, prequel continuity is a good idea here.
Emperor Palpatine: If Ian McDiarmid isn’t up for reprising his role, I suggest John Nobel gets the part. His turn as Denethor in “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” shows that he can sneer and be dark better than anyone else out there today. He’s also got a wonderful voice that would go nicely for continuity with McDiarmid.
Darth Vader: Hayden Christensen.
Over the years Hayden has gotten a lot of unfounded crap from fans for his portrayal of Anakin in the Prequels. Hayden had a very difficult role in which he had to attempt to incorporate mannerisms of Luke Skywalker, Jake Lloyd’s Anakin, and Darth Vader into his role. He’s often called “wooden” in his performance – I beg to differ. Hayden did a brilliant job of keeping young Vader’s movements to be purposeful, his vocal patterns were monotoned to match Vader’s cadence, and he incorporated other mannerisms that both Lloyd and Hamill brought to their characters.
If you watch the prequels, pay close attention to how Anakin stalks rooms and uses his cape when he walks – he’s Vader. Hayden understands the part. For continuity sake having him as Darth Vader would be the best move. Not only would this mean that he can show up as a Force Ghost to Luke in the sequels, but if at any point during off-shoot films that Vader needs to remove his helmet – we’ll know that it’s Anakin Skywalker under the mask.
Why not David Prowse? Prowse has made himself person non-gratis with Lucasfilm over the years for whining over not getting to put on the suit in “Revenge of the Sith”, making personal attacks against George Lucas, and trashing the franchise in general. He’s been blacklisted by Lucasfilm from attending any of their sponsored events.
Wedge Antillies: Wedge’s age is rather unknown in the original films so as long as he’s somewhere in his 20’s to 30’s his casting is wide open.
My Suggestion: Richard Madden
Richard is currently best known for being Robb Stark on “Game of Thrones.” It would be nicely fitting to have another Scottsman take over the small, but important role of Wedge Antillies. Best thing for Richard, this part would probably be small in any off-shoot OT films, but his role will likely greatly increase for the sequels since Wedge becomes the leader the Rogue Squadron. We already know from Thrones that Madden plays a very convincing leader and mentor who inspires loyalty, and yet he isn’t afraid to get his own hands dirty to win a fight.